Microlam ?

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HLW

New User
Harold
Okay, I'm getting ready to show my ignorance. What is Microlam ,what is it used for,and where do you buy it? I've noticed on a couple of threads that a couple of you turned some projects from it and they looked great. Is it rough on the chisels and gouges? Thought I'd try turning some of it ,if it's easy to get? Thanks.:icon_scra
 

froglips

New User
Jim Campbell
Its one of the new kind of glued up framing lumber.

Used in a lot of joists and now framing as well.

Some are strands, others are layers of veneer. The idea is to glue up little bits to make what would've been a solid wood (or steel) framing member.

Microlam is another name for LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber). Another type is named Glulam.

I know many lumber yards (not hardwood stores) carry it. Not seen it at the home centers yet.

The higher glue content is reputedly hard on cutting tools. Carbide seems to be the better option. So I wouldn't break out your hand plane quite yet.

I'd sure not take a carbon steel chisel to it. You may find moving to an Olande style with a carbide cutter is the way to go.

For all its "unnaturalness", it sure looks cool!

Jim
 

DaveO

New User
DaveO
Jim pretty much covered it all. I will add that it does turn OK with HSS tools, but the glues do necessitate more frequent sharpening.
As far as it's orientation I have found that you get a more interesting turning if you use a piece that might be 2-3" thick and turn shallow bowls, open forms or platters. The "face-grain" looks much more interesting than the "side-grain".
I find mine as construction cut-offs, but you should also be able to find it at a real building supply center like Stock.

Dave:)
 

PChristy

New User
Phillip
Harold IF we build anything else and we use microlams again I will grab all of the cut offs and post it here to see who will want them - I have a few cut offs but they have been spoken for - next time you will be in the front:icon_thum
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
Its one of the new kind of glued up framing lumber.

Jim


New? I guess it's new compared to regular wood, which has been around a lot longer. :)

It's laminated veneer pieces...think of plywood 2x4s, or even larger beams.

For more history than you'll ever want: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/TJ-International-Inc-Company-History.html

It was sort of a Trus Joist product, and Weyerhaueser also produced a Microllam product.

Came to life in the 60s...I had a bunch of this stuff as a kid in the late 70s from the local Trus Joist plant. They made some in Eugene. Built some awesome tree houses but sucked to drive a nail through. In fact, I still have a scar from that process...
 

PChristy

New User
Phillip

Geoff I made these out of the pieces I got last week
Lidded_bowl.jpg

View image in gallery

Microlam_Bottle_stopper.jpg

View image in gallery


View image in gallery
 

fergy

New User
Fergy
Would those turnings truly be considered to be made of LVL? The pieces are thicker than veneers. The LVLs I had were layers of 1/16" thick veneers.
 

PChristy

New User
Phillip
Would those turnings truly be considered to be made of LVL? The pieces are thicker than veneers. The LVLs I had were layers of 1/16" thick veneers.


The 30ft beams we lifted up onto the post had LVL written on the side of them - I guess it depends on who manufactured them = All the ones we have installed has had this size of layers
 

woodworker2000

Christopher
Corporate Member
Last time I was in the HfH Re-Use store in Raleigh (3 weeks ago?), they had several shorter (12" x 3'-5', maybe 2.5" thick) microlam pieces for sale. I can't remember the prices they were asking for each piece but I don't remember them being very expensive.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I mentioned this in another thread, but will repeat it here...

I have seen stuff carved out of stock made by gluing stacks of marine plywood that is really stunning. It is void free, has lots of thin veneers and the higher end stuff is made from woods like okoume, meranti, teak and even holly:

Hardboard.jpg
worldpanels.jpg

http://www.marine-plywood.us/

That teak/holly board looks like an ice cream sandwich. :)

The trick is finding a high end boat builder with scraps.
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy
I am driving myself crazy trying to remember this. There was a show, I think on DIY, that was called "Modern Masters" or something similar (I am pretty sure "Masters" is wrong) and I think that is where I saw it. Anyone remnember the actual name - I want to see if I can dig it up. The guy also had a very cool tool for sculpting furniture. It was a sander that was like a rolling pin on the end of a heavy duty flex shaft. Serious respiratory equipment required.

Anyway, I noticed the other day when making a cheesy little steady rest (it works for what I wann do with it) that the little panel of ply wood I had picked up at one of the big box stores actually looks pretty good on the edges (try not to laugh at the cobbled together rest):



I cut it with a decent scroll saw blade just because I was too lazy to get my little 9" band saw down and set it up. I was surprised at how nice the edge looks.
 
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PChristy

New User
Phillip
I am driving myself crazy trying to remember this. There was a show, I think on DIY, that was called "Modern Masters" or something similar (I am pretty sure "Masters" is wrong) and I think that is where I saw it. Anyone remnember the actual name - I waant to see if I can dig it up. The guy also had a very cool tool for sculpting furniture. It was a sander that was like a rolling pin on the end of a heavy duty flex shaft. Serious respiratory equipment required.

Anyway, I noticed the other day when making a cheesy little steady rest (it works for what I wann do with it) that the little panel of ply wood I had picked up at one of the big box stores actually looks pretty good on the edges (try not to laugh at the cobbled together rest):



I cut it with a decent scroll saw blade just because I was too lazy to get my little 9" band saw down and set it up. I was surprised at how nice the edge looks.

Yea, I think all of the complaining about the voids in plywoods are being heard - nice rest by the way - I wish I had one yesterday
 

Canuck

Wayne
Corporate Member
I am driving myself crazy trying to remember this. There was a show, I think on DIY, that was called "Modern Masters" or something similar (I am pretty sure "Masters" is wrong) and I think that is where I saw it. Anyone remnember the actual name - I want to see if I can dig it up. The guy also had a very cool tool for sculpting furniture. It was a sander that was like a rolling pin on the end of a heavy duty flex shaft. Serious respiratory equipment required.

Maybe on Modern Marvels, Andy?:icon_scra

http://shop.history.com/?v=history_show_modern-marvels&nvbar=Show:Modern+Marvels

Wayne
 

CarvedTones

Board of Directors, Vice President
Andy

No, that isn't it. Now it is really making me crazy; I really liked that show (I haven't seen it on in a long time). It wasn't always woodworkers; in fact that was a rare exception. It was modern craftsmen who do really incredible work, some powered some not (they did not have to be traditional in choice of tools, just quality standards). They had a metal worker one time that made wrought iron railings by hand that were just incredibly detailed, for example. Ringing bells for anyone else yet?
 

JimmyC

New User
Jimmy
No, that isn't it. Now it is really making me crazy; I really liked that show (I haven't seen it on in a long time). It wasn't always woodworkers; in fact that was a rare exception. It was modern craftsmen who do really incredible work, some powered some not (they did not have to be traditional in choice of tools, just quality standards). They had a metal worker one time that made wrought iron railings by hand that were just incredibly detailed, for example. Ringing bells for anyone else yet?

I remember it Andy and I'm fairly sure that it was Modern Masters. It specialized in different artisans including woodworking, metalworking, glass artisans(blown and stained glass), etc.. It was shown on HGTV and the last airings were in 2003 I think, it was a good program but had a short life.

As far as the guy making the iron railings I remember it well because he pounded out really delicate leaves, as a blacksmith, to use on the railings.
 
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